I never thought I would have another cat. When our Tiger died suddenly, it really crushed us. He was only 7 years old, and he didn’t have any health problems. One night he woke us up with his crying, and we knew something was wrong. We called our vet, who told us to take him to the animal hospital half an hour away. He died in my mom’s arms barely five minutes from our house, and she said it was too painful to love something so much that death could touch.
When my aunt decided to move for work, you had to stay with us for a couple days. It was only a few days, but we fell in love with you. I knew that you often had to hide from my aunt’s kids. You spent your days napping under the bed. And it wasn't a terrible life. Your old owner loved you very, very much, and she still does. She took care of you for over a decade, while I was just a visitor in your life.
So after those few days were up, we took you to your new home. What you don't know is that I cried for hours because I loved you and wanted you to be free to roam wherever you wanted in your home, whenever you wanted. I wanted you to be somewhere that was your home, not just a place where you lived.
When my aunt decided that it would be best if you could retire from your stressful life with two young children to our calm, constantly quiet house, I was so relieved. I’m pretty young and I can’t imagine having to live with those two chaotic kids. I can’t imagine what it was like being so old living with them; you must’ve been so exhausted. I spent 3 hours on the road that day to bring you home. You meowed the whole car ride, but the second I opened your cage and you knew you were back, you curled up on your spot on the couch and took a nap.
Everyone idolizes kittens, but I've gotta say, senior cats are where it's at. As a fellow napper and foodie, I love the way you spend most of your time eating or sleeping. I relate to you on a spiritual level there.
And I love the way, when my mom throws treats down the hallway for you, you bat them around before devouring them.
But mostly, I love how much you love me. Any time I sit down in a chair, you're on my lap within minutes. You spend your days sleeping on my bed. When I'm eating, you sit on the table (okay, you probably just want my food). Every morning, you curl up on my pillows until I finally roll out of bed. You sit outside my bathroom door and wait for me to get out of the shower. When I enter the room where you are, you immediately start purring. I'm your favorite person.
And in return for that, I promise that I will love you as long as I can. From the pet stairs I bought you permanently placed by my bed to the one pillow that is your pillow, designated to keep you from getting your claws stuck in my blanket when you sit on my lap, I promise you will always have a place in my life and in my home.
I will let you sit on my lap for hours, even when you make my legs fall asleep. If your stubby legs and old joints won't let you jump up on the couch, I'll help you, even if you'll squirm and grumble. I’ll love you even when you insist on sitting on my keyboard when I'm trying to do homework. Because you're so allergic to fleas, I'll make sure to give you your flea medicine on the 15th of every month, even if it means I have to make a special trip to the store. I will still love you, even when you're sitting on my lap and your tongue makes that disgusting sound when you lick yourself.
Recently, I read A Dog’s Purpose in one sitting with you curled up on my lap. I know you don’t understand why sometimes water flows from my eyes and why sometimes my breath comes in gasps between the tears dripping from my face, soaking your fur. The night I finished that book with you on my lap, I cried so hard because I know you’re getting old, and I don’t want to lose you. You’re like my Bailey, except I didn’t get to spend your whole life with you. I’m just so glad that right now, you can spend your days curled up napping on my lap, and I hope that that makes you happy, too.
And even though I may get less time with you than I might like, no amount of time would have been long enough. I could have found you as an abandoned kitten, and when your time came 15 years later, I still wouldn't have had enough time to love you.
Bitsy, you are my best buddy and the best cat I've ever had. Luckily for me, you seem to be going strong, even though you're over 10 years old. But whether you have to go a year from now or I'm lucky enough to get another 5 years, I would never ever regret making you a part of my family. I promise I will love you until the very end, and for years even after that.